The report reveals social technologies are helping families connect and enhance intergenerational relationships
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP and Microsoft Corp. today released "Connecting Generations," a new research report that examines how people of all ages are using online communication and social networking to enhance their family relationships. The report reveals three key pieces of evidence showing that online communication is bridging the generation gap:
- 83 percent of those surveyed (ranging in age from 13 to 75 years old) consider going online to be a "helpful" form of communication among family members.
- 30 percent of grandparents of teens/young adults agree that connecting online has helped them better understand their teen/young adult grandchildren, and 29 percent of teens/young adults say the same about their grandparents.
- Teens agree that the computer increases both the quantity (70 percent) and quality (67 percent) of their communication with family members living far away.
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"For decades, baby boomers and other older Americans have valued computers and mobile devices as tools for work, but technology is now playing an increasingly vital role in helping the 50+ population communicate and stay connected to their children, aging parents and other family members," said Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President, AARP Thought Leadership. "By enhancing communication across all generations, technology is improving the quality of life for people of all ages."
Released in conjunction with Safer Internet Day 2012,an annual event organized by InSafe to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile devices among people worldwide, this "Connecting Generations" report also confirms the need for educating all consumers, from teenagers to grandparents, about Internet safety and the steps they can take to help protect themselves online.
While most respondents — teens, parents and grandparents — wish they knew more about how to keep personal information private (58 percent), and how to safeguard their devices (50 percent), the younger generation wants more information than older respondents about using social networks more safely (38 percent compared to 27 percent).
There is also a disconnect between how teens deal with online content that makes them feel uncomfortable and their parents' perception of how they are dealing with such images and information. Nearly half of parents (49 percent) say their teens know to come to them when they see something online that makes them uncomfortable, yet less than a third of teens (29 percent) say they actually would know to go to their parents to talk about it.